Elections

Truss me on this one, Liz: new dawns get old fast

Newly elected (by the tiny universe of her own party members) British PM Liz Truss has surfed to power on a blue wave of Conservative support, though by a lesser margin than polls predicted, or any of her recent predecessors enjoyed. Still, a win is a win, and though she might soon founder on the [...]

De Klerk and the Gorbachev paradox

The comparisons between FW de Klerk, the last white president of SA and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, are striking beyond their roles as “midwives from tyranny to a new politics”. This is what British politician and veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Peter Hain writes in his obituary for De Klerk, who died aged 85 in [...]

Babbling while Ukraine burns

For the least populated area in America, the Mountain West state of Wyoming has received outsize attention across the world in recent days. That’s because it was the site of the landslide defeat in a primary election of US congresswoman Liz Cheney, a three-term US Representative. Cheney is the daughter of a Republican dynasty headed by [...]

The ANC’s policy phantasms won’t fly

On Monday , South Africans, wearied and depressed by endless electricity blackouts in the heart of winter, were offered by President Cyril Ramaphosa yet another solution — this time in the form of a “10-point power crisis plan”.  Most folk are caught between the hope that this time, against all odds and expectation, the plan [...]

OK, now for the 10-point credibility plan, Mr President

Just hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Monday evening announcement of a “10-point power crisis plan”, educationist and public commentator Jonathan Jansen commissioned an online survey. Jansen asked respondents how confident they were that in respect of the “bold announcements of the president to fix the energy crisis that this time words will become actions?” Of [...]

Presidential sounds of silence are fuelling the fire engulfing SA

Workers Day, May 1 2022, offered South Africans sharply contrasting images of President Cyril Ramaphosa and leader of the official opposition John Steenhuisen. Ramaphosa had a double indignity heaped on him at a rally at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, North West. The obvious injury to presidential pride was his forced removal from the keynote [...]

Putin’s war has sorted the wheat from the chaff — and there’s lots of chaff

Today, barring a huge upset, Emmanuel Macron will be re-elected president of France. However, if polling was always accurate President Hillary Clinton would be in her second term in the US and the UK would be still a leading member of the EU. The election in France revolves in part on how toxic the embrace [...]

With friends like these, the DA certainly doesn’t need enemies

Over 30 years ago when I first arrived in parliament, an old ward heeler who knew his way around there advised newcomer MPs: “The first law of politics is to be present.” Spare a thought then for Refiloe Nts’ekhe. She had been presented in the election as the DA mayoral candidate for Ekurheleni. But at [...]

Fasten your seatbelts, SA. It’s going to be a bumpy post-ANC ride

Alongside the fading light of Eskom, the refulgent blaze of the ANC’s electoral comet shines far less brightly since last Monday. That, at least, is the one takeaway from the outcome of the local polls of 2021. In ancient Rome, the Etruscans were highly regarded for their ability for reading “auspices”, like blazing comets, and discerning [...]

Cyril’s credit may prove on Monday to have been flushed away

Back in 1970, in the whites-only general election, the United Party (UP) campaigned with a poster: “Want TV? Vote UP!” My progressive teenage set ridiculed the official opposition for such a marginal message, given the miseries of apartheid. However, in that poll, for the first time in six elections, the UP actually gained seats off [...]

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